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Tech and Tools Seats and Seat Belts – with “30Pack” Matt
M: I want to go back into the same topic of last week; roll cages and safety. So a lot of people want to put seats in their Jeeps and their trucks. Suspension seats are really popular. To go along with their seats, most people run a 4 or 5 point race-style harness. It’s important to remember that it takes a lot of time and effort to put those race harnesses on when you are accustomed to simply using a regular belt.
Here is a good tip, if it’s a driven daily vehicle it’s really smart to leave the factory belts in the vehicle. That way you have the factory seat belt for daily driving and the race-style harness for when you’re wheeling.
C: So you don’t just take the factory seatbelt out, you leave it in and multipurpose both of them?
M: Exactly. It would be a lot safer to wear a factory-style seat belt pulled over your shoulder than it would be to just wear a lap belt. That’s what a lot of people tend to do when they put in the race-style seat belts.
C: There’s some different seats as well: wider ones, narrower ones, heated ones, what are some of the components we need to think about when picking one out?
M: Basically, go for comfort. Try to find some local shops or friends who will let you try out their seats. A lot of companies offer tall and wide versions for a bigger person. Also, with suspension seats, they have bolt on brackets for a lot of vehicles out there that can be mounted separately, that way you can adjust the seat. If you’re tall and you need more head room, you can use a suspension seat that doesn’t have all the padding or mount the seat lower.
C: What is an acceptable measurement for head room?
M: The rule of thumb in a race car is about a fist. If you’re sitting in a care with a helmet on you should be able to make a fist over your head. If you’re sitting in your garage and you have your roll cage buit, welded really nice and strong, and have your suspension seat mounted, you should sit in the seat with the seatbelt loose and try to wiggle yourself up and see if you get close to anything. Even with your seatbelt tight, they do loosen and stretch some in an accident. I would say you should have about 5-inches of room all the way around.